A cacophony of drums and shouts of merriment came out of nowhere, breaking the lazy morning vibe. I just finished my breakfast of banban, a smorgasbord of traditional Tausug delicacies often served in the coffeeshops of Tawitawi. The sounds grew louder as three boats locally called timpel and used around the shallow waterways of Sitangkai emerged from just behind a stilt house, passed under one of the many wooden footbridges between houses and disappeared into a bend.  It was loaded with people with a few…Continue Reading “Photoessay: Sama circumcision, a Sitangkai ritual”

Minalungao National Park

Minalungao National Park blew into social media months ago because of its outstanding rock forms and picturesque view. Up close, those white rocks have been weathered and smoothed for millennia that its just got beautiful undulating curves. It reminds me of the Timbaban River in Aklan and Marmol Cliff in Cebu. And I got curious. It’s rather a long drive to reach Minalungao National Park as our bus motored its way from Fort Magsaysay, passing pastoral landscapes and rolling terrain. When we arrived, there were…Continue Reading “Experiencing nature at Minalungao National Park”

Sto Nino procession in Cebu

The nine day novena mass opened yesterday with the Sto Nino procession in Cebu from the Fuente Osmena to the Basilica del Sto Nino and this signals the start of the Cebu’s biggest festival, the Sinulog. The festivity culminates on the third Sunday of January with a boisterous and colorful street dancing but on the solemn side, devotees from the around the country and the world come to Cebu to pay homage as well as pray for blessings and healing to the Child, God and…Continue Reading “Sto Nino procession Cebu opens the Sinulog festivities”

It’s December and it’s not just the cold temperature and shorter days, but almost everywhere in the Philippines, you will almost, always stumble upon something that will remind you of the festive season: Christmas carols on radio, decors in many buildings, malls and houses, vendors selling lanterns and Christmas stuff and all these mall sales, gift packs and Christmas party reminders. Yes, Filipinos are serious about Christmas, and it’s a fact that once the ‘ber months come in, starting September, be sure to expect that…Continue Reading “Christmas is all around in the Philippines”

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Ennui got the better of us as we waited for the supposed backup vehicle that never arrived. The sun was high, although the slight breeze was cool, I was perspiring, seeking shelter on the disappearing umbrage of the four wheel drive. I scanned the horizon and the mountains across the Luba River and saw a lone longitudinal raft trying to cross the water, to the other side where two motorcycles were waiting. There’s no bridge large enough…Continue Reading “Tubo Adventure, Part 3: The lone ferryman of Luba River”